Iona College Announces Major Campus Plan Projects

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Iona College Announces Major Campus Plan Projects

January 31, 2014 - 03:13

NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- At Iona College’s annual state of the college meetings this week, the College announced that the Board of Trustees approved a new campus master plan focused on academic facilities, student housing, athletics, and other high priorities based on input of various groups during a year-long process. The master plan translates key elements of the College’s strategic plan into the campus by providing an outline of the College’s development in coming years.

The board also authorized a funding allocation for completion of detailed architectural plans, feasibility review and permitting processes for several projects — including a new seven-story residence hall at the recently purchased Mirage Diner site with commercial space on the ground floor, a new School of Business building, expansion and renovation of the science building, creation of a performing arts venue, and a reconfigured arena complex in the existing Hynes Athletics Center.

“This plan supports our strategic efforts to build on student and academic distinction, support our faculty’s teaching and scholarly work, improve the campus experience and infrastructure, and elevate Iona’s stature and prominence nationally and internationally,” said President Joseph E. Nyre.

The College will move forward with developing architectural plans and feasibility reviews for each of the five projects over the next six to 12 months. The residence hall/commercial-use structure will be funded through financing, while the other projects will be donor supported with their start dependent on philanthropic investments from alumni, corporate partners and friends.

“We’re moving from the silent phase to the advanced gift phase of the Iona Forever Campaign,” said Paul J. Sutera, senior vice president for Advancement & External Affairs. “While much of the effort will be to add philanthropically to our endowment supporting student scholarship and endowed professorships, programs, centers and institutes, these brick and mortar capital projects will share center stage in our work. We anticipate the generosity and vision of donors who understand the importance of Iona in the region and in American higher education.”

In addition to these five major projects, other campus and collaborative improvements will be made, such as classroom modernization, new social spaces for students, more green space, signage/wayfinding changes, traffic calming and other enhancements to the Iona campus experience.

“We look forward to working with Iona College in the implementation of their master plan,” said New Rochelle City Manager Charles B. Strome III. “The proposed development of College facilities on North Avenue will enhance existing commercial uses, attract new businesses and encourage revitalization along the entire North Avenue corridor.”

New Residence Hall/Mixed-Use Commercial Facility
The need and options for a new Iona residence hall have been discussed publicly for several years. When the owners of the Mirage Diner approached the College about purchasing the property, it created a perfect prospective location as it sits directly across from the main campus entrance on North Avenue.

“We are very excited to expand the College’s footprint on North Avenue,” said Anne Marie Schettini-Lynch, senior vice president for Finance and Administration. "The purchase of the diner property will provide more space for our students and allow Iona to become even more integrated into the New Rochelle community by establishing new businesses such as a bookstore and a restaurant for campus and public use.”

The new residence hall will create an estimated 250-350 beds. The street-level commercial space will continue to provide property-tax income to the city while adding to Iona amenities and North Avenue revitalization. See more about Iona’s North Avenue development plans at

New Business Building
This new approximately 54,000-square-foot home for the School of Business will provide state-of-the-art facilities for undergraduate and graduate programs. Anticipated in the new structure are

• Enhanced classroom space
• Case study/breakout rooms
• Video conferencing classrooms/media labs
• Expanded LaPenta/Lynch Trading Floor
• A new business incubator center
• A student library/quiet study area/student lounge areas
• A large tiered lecture hall
• Faculty, administrative and staff offices

“This new facility will meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s undergraduate and graduate students,” said Vincent J. Calluzzo, dean of the business school. “It will allow us not only to keep pace with the educational landscape in business but also take Iona to the next level.”

Science Center
The expansion and renovation of Cornelia Hall, currently used for some but not all of Iona’s science and technology programs, will bring together faculty, students and resources from the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Physics and Mathematics in one of the College’s most historic structures. The newly expanded and renovated facility will provide open spaces for multipurpose collaborative laboratories and technologically advanced classrooms.

The enhanced facilities will allow professors to expand the scope and types of faculty-mentored research, which can translate into increased eligibility on a broader range of externally funded grant opportunities – and ultimately improve regional, national and international visibility for Iona and its students. Additionally, the new teaching and research laboratories will promote interdisciplinary education as well as problem-solving and critical-thinking activities.

“Iona has a strong program in the sciences and technology, but we clearly need to keep moving forward not only to keep up with the field, but to become innovators in the STEM field,” said Sibdas Ghosh, dean of the School of Arts and Science. “Bringing together our STEM disciplines is important when offering our students the best education possible.”

New Performing Arts Center
The addition of a new arts venue on campus will enhance the liberal-arts base of Iona and add to the overall campus experience for all students. The facility is envisioned to augment the College’s music/theater-based activities as well as increase student productions and community interactions. The facility will include
• A grand entrance lobby appropriate for gatherings
• Performance halls
• Workspace for an artist-in-residence
• Multipurpose rehearsal space
• Various technical and support spaces

The addition of this performing arts space will enhance the overall Iona experience, complement existing facilities in the College’s Arts Center, and also create new synergies with New York City’s world-class arts scene.

“The performing arts center will provide a premier arts destination for area residents and the College community,” said Thomas Donnarumma, associate professor and chair of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts. “It will further support the mission of the College and the foundation for life-long learning through the performing arts -- and will also fully encourage and inspire aesthetic literacy in our students, enabling them to grow spiritually and creatively.”

New Athletics Arena Complex
Expansion and reconfiguration of current Iona facilities for men’s and women’s basketball, as well as women’s volleyball, are needed to stay competitive with peer NCAA Division 1 institutions, to improve the student-athlete experience, and to elevate the experience for all fans attending events. A larger, more fan-inspired venue will also provide better multi-use facilities for non-athletic campus events such as major lectures, performances and campus gatherings. The new facility will include
• An arena configuration, enhanced entrance, entertainment suites, and more convenient public restroom facilities, ticket office, concessions, apparel store, basketball offices, a strength and conditioning facility, and an academic center for athletes
• Hall of Fame/donor lounge/entertainment area
• Sports medicine facility, broadcast facilities, equipment room, locker rooms and storage

“This project will bring Iona into the top tier of our peer institutions in support of our students,” said Rick Cole Jr., Iona’s director of Athletics. “It transforms our entire athletics program and gives the College a first-class facility for other campus and community events.”